New study on assisting Palestinian people to improve economic situation

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Women and Children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. UN File Photo/Shareef Sarhan

Economic and trade conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) would improve if Israel fulfils its obligations under a new global agreement on trade facilitation.

That's according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which has released a new study on the issue.

The agency illustrates what it calls the "problematic status quo of Palestinian trade", and the challenges to achieve sustainable economic development in the OPT.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

The UNCTAD study launched on Tuesday looks into ways of assisting the Palestinian people to improve their economic situation.

It reflects on the 2013 World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation, and what Israel's obligations towards Palestine would entail once the agreement comes into force. 

Here's UNCTAD Spokesperson, Matthew Brown.

“The legal study found that Israel, as a WTO Member and also as an occupying power, would have significant obligations towards Palestine to help Palestine.  Those obligations would include the creation of efficient and transparent customs procedures, the reduction of document requirements and processing time, and the strengthening of customs and revenue collection by the Palestinian National Authority.”

Mr Brown added that UNCTAD hopes such measures will reduce the extreme poverty, hunger and unemployment that people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are experiencing.

Unemployment in Gaza reportedly reached an unprecedented 44 per cent last year.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’06″

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